Analysis Of The Fugitive Slave Act Of Anthony Burns

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The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 is a topic most modern Americans have been educated on but is fairly generalized in its studies. The controversial act, which was mostly an uneasy agreement between the North and South on slavery (Le Francois), is one that can easily be seen as cruel and heinous in retrospect. Though the law was incepted to bring escaped slaves back to the South, it quickly became an excuse to capture any, including free, African Americans that the slave hunters found. Anthony Burns, who escaped from his life of slavery just to almost be brought back, is one relatively unknown victim. Burns only wanted a better life beyond slavery, and even went to trial so he could gain his own freedom.
Anthony Burns was born into slavery on
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Burns was forced to walk through the streets of Boston on June 2, 1854, to the ship that was to sail him to Norfolk to be enslaved again. While he walked, an angry crowd of over fifty-thousand gathered in the streets, cursing at the guards that imprisoned Burns in the first place. Once in Norfolk, Burns was sold to a David Martin who owned a plantation in the Rocky Mountains (Maltz). However, a Virginian Baptist minister by the name of Leonard A. Grimes had been collecting money in secret if he were ever to buy Burns from Suttle …show more content…
Both acts were met with much criticism from the northern states, who consisted of a majority of abolitionists. Most whites from the north had helped slaves escape the dangers of slavery with the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad, a famous system of rest houses made for escaped slaves to reach the north, had been crucial in saving the lives of many slaves on the run from the Fugitive Slave Act. Once free, many escapees traveled to present-day Canada in order to avoid United States jurisdiction and laws

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